This is an attempt to provide a definite and honest answer to this question.
The answer is probably, no but it is not as simple as that. First common sense dictates that it is impossible to state hard facts about the character and personality of all the cats of a single, specific breed. When you think about it, it has to be impractical to try and do that because individual cats have their own character. Also you’ll get differences between male and female cats and neutered and whole cats within a cat breed. However, many websites and books like to give an indication as to the character of cats of a breed because people who want to adopt like to know beforehand. Invariably there is a great deal of generalisation. It is a bit like the long range weather forecast.
Understandably, the cat fancy likes to separate out the breeds in character as well as appearance. But breeders tend to breed for appearance and socialisation (acceptance of people and animals) and not character. Although a good breeding cat will have a nice character, will the character of the cats of one breed be that different to the character of cats of another breed? My conclusion is that they won’t be very different.
With that ‘warning’ out of the way, what do the books and websites say about the Maine Coon? This is where we encounter another problem! The desire to curl up on someone’s lap is a very specific behavioral trait. You might care for a cat that likes to sleep against you in bed but who rarely sleeps on your lap. Your cat might be very friendly and close to you (a really nice cat companion) but not be lap cat. What I am saying is that experts can’t say for sure whether cats of a cat breed will be lap cats. You can describe a cats of a breed as ‘docile’ or ‘loyal’ but not that they are lap cats!
O.K. What do the experts say? I don’t consider myself an expert but my view is that the Maine Coon is not known to be a lap cat.
Gloria Stephens the author with the famous photographer Tetsu, of Legacy of the Cat (ISBN 0-8118-2910-3) says the Maine Coon is ‘relaxed and easy going’. A good start then and an indication that this popular breed could like a cosy lap. She writes that they are people orientated and good with children and dogs. They don’t demand attention and don’t necessarily like to be held. The Maine Coon forms close bonds with their human caretaker and like to be close to them. So there you have it. You make you mind up whether a Maine Coon is a lap cat. I sense not from this description.
Dr Fogle of The Encyclopedia of the Cat (ISBN 978-1-4053-2149-5) describes the Maine Coon as ‘strong and tranquil”. This cat is often described as a ‘gentle giant’. You will see that phrase used a lot on the internet. Perhaps the key phrase is that cats of this breed are ‘independent’ and he or she likes to do their own thing. This indicates a cat that is slightly unlikely to be a lap cat.
The best answer would come from people who live with Maine Coons. I have had the pleasure of living with two Maine Coons when I stayed with Ken and Helmi Flick near Dallas, Texas. Zak liked me. And I adored him. He came on my bed. I never saw him on a lap over the time I was there (over 2 weeks in total). I would agree with Gloria Stephens’s description. I would conclude that the majority of Maine Coons are not lap cats.